Postural Education Exercise Fort Worth & Plano, TX

Postural Education Exercise

Our posture affects how we look, how we feel, and how much effort we have to put into daily activities. Most of us have been told to “stand up straight, pull our shoulders back, and lift our chin” but do these words actually help or hinder our posture?

In reality, good posture should make it easier for us to sit, stand and move. Therefore when we teach people about how to improve their posture, our aim is to teach how to easily maintain the natural curves of the back and neck in sitting, standing, and moving while also assisting normal transfer of body weight through the spine, hips, knees, and feet without overloading these joints.

Neutral spine alignment means that each curve in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine is aligned to decrease stress on the facet joints, and the pelvis is not tilted into extreme motions.

There are many myths about posture that can hinder progress with rehabilitation.

MYTH 1: If you want to correct poor posture, straighten up.

Trying to force a straight body position can cause muscle tension and distortion of the spine. The effort starts to increase soreness in your upper or mid back. Good posture should make you feel lighter and more relaxed! It’s true that in standing and sitting it generally requires are “taller” more lengthened position, but this answer also depends on the patients’ anatomy and function.

MYTH 2: Keeping your chin up and chest out constitutes great posture.

For some a gentle cue of lifting their chest and chin up may be helpful, but many times a “military” type of forced posture is not what a patient in pain needs to be focusing on. Our therapists will need to assess your function, movement, and joint mobility to help determine the best changes for you to make.

MYTH 3: Good posture requires mental and physical effort.

Good posture will actually allow you to feel less strain in your body, and lightness in arm and back movements. Practicing good postural habits can be hard initially but there are many tricks we can help you practice to train the brain out of bad habits and into new, better posture habits that will make you feel and look better.

MYTH 4: It is too late to change my posture.

It is never too late to improve your posture, and for most of us, we will only make the decision to improve our posture because of pain or tension in our bodies. Studies reveal that even people in their 80s and 90s can improve their posture, giving them more mobility, and improving the strain they feel from bad posture habits.

The honest answer is that there is no one perfect posture that applies to everyone. In fact, the best posture many times is one that is dynamic and always changing. Some sitting, some standing, some stretching, some walking, etc. Your spine (and all parts of your body) benefit from movement in terms of pain reduction, fluid dynamics, blood flow, tissue oxygenation, and calming effects on muscle and nerve tissues. So when your therapist goes over ergonomics and varieties of positions that may help you during your day, remember that they all have a purpose, and when in doubt, get moving.

If you’d like to learn more about how posture training and education could benefit your pain and performance, contact us today at ClearCut ORTHO Physical Therapy Specialists in Fort Worth & Plano, TX.